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(60:31, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. La Danza Senza Fine 6:05 2. Senza Regole 4:53 3. Eclissi 9:42 4. Anima 4:52 5. Odio 5:17 6. Quello che Resta 4:24 7. Premonizioni 5:58 8. Volo 4:27 9. Gentile Direttore 3:41 10. Luce 4:01 11. Un Altro Mondo 7:08 LINEUP: Luca Zabbini – keyboards; b/v Luca Pancaldi – vocals Giacomo Calabria – drums Giambatista Girogi – basses
Prolusion. “Misteriosevoci” is the first CD by Italian band BAROCK PROJECT, though I’ve heard they have one more release, a DVD with similar content.
Analysis. The press kit quotes bandleader Luca Zabbini, who says their purpose is “to spread the finesse of Classical, mainly Baroque, music by means of Rock with a bit of jazz harmony and a pop song structure”, which I’ll leave without comment, since my personal goal is to try to disclose the real substance of their effort, at least by taking my narrow view:-) of the matter. Although being just another of the many conventional ‘70s-inspired sympho-prog and related creations I’ve heard this year, “Misteriosevoci” doesn’t kill my desire to plunge into this (perhaps everlastingly attractive) kind of music or rather the period – not only due to its nostalgic impact on me of course. Curiously, there’s not even a hint of any guitarist’s involvement in the recording in its booklet, but the majority of the eleven tracks here suggest it’s a quintet of keyboards, guitars, vocals, bass and drums who’re behind them, that six-stringed instrument being part of all of them without exception. Thanks to the keyboardist’s active use of organ, pianos and analog-sounding synthesizers, as well as the axeman’s avoidance of modern sound processors, vintage features are in abundance here, standing out above all for their characteristic warmth, which is retained almost everywhere on the album. Therefore, despite any differences between them, all the tracks are fairly satisfying, though of course, the band’s possibilities are best of all reflected on those compositions that include fast-paced arrangements, demanding a certain performance mastery, namely La Danza Senza Fine, Eclissi, Premonizioni and Odio, of which, however, only the first three are to be viewed now, owing to their stylistic kinship. Classic Genesis, Camel and ELP all come to my mind when I listen to them, though I’m also reminded of two Italian bands, Eris Pluvia and Ezra Winston, both of which had an inclination towards the English art-rock model. Besides, light folksy motifs typical of Eris Pluvia can in places be traced on each of the three, as well as on a couple more tunes. There are quite a few instrumental interludes on each, yet most of those on the opening track are repeated up to three times, the vocal storyline there (verse/ chorus/ bridge) indeed depicting a very standard pop approach. The other two compositions are much more diverse, both having a distinct theatric feel, and by the way, the Genesis influence is evident even on their vocal angle, despite the singer’s delivery being unlike Peter Gabriel’s, let alone the fact that the lyrics are in Italian. Senza Regole, Gentile Direttore and the already-mentioned Odio, while still retaining a certain theatric feeling, are all more strongly influenced by Hard Rock, especially the latter song, and yet it takes almost as many directions as both the best sympho-prog pieces, closing the line of the disc’s highlights or, if you will, its most progressively saturated creations. The other two are more straightforward, but neither is destined for the dustbin, far from it, each standing out for some fine fusionesque maneuvers with the organ and guitar improvising in a fairly sophisticated manner. Of the two songs combining full-fledged art-rock arrangements and smooth balladic ones, Anima and Un Altro Mondo, the latter more frequently alternates its corresponding sections with each other, and so is somewhat more impressive. The remaining three tracks, Quello che Resta, Luce and Volo, are all ballads, fairly simple, but not without charm, particularly the latter. Unlike the first two, performed by the entire quintet, it only involves vocals, acoustic guitar and string ensemble and is the sole track here that the elements of Baroque music are really thrown in.
Conclusion. While relying on my experience in music, I’m still not too self-confident to assert that my vision of this recording is a truth in its last instance. Nevertheless I hope it’s quite in line with the real state of affairs. In any event, don’t expect from Barock Project anything in the style of Ekseption or real classically-inspired Progressive either, despite the bandleader’s statement. Although most of the tracks are instantly accessible, this CD can only be recommended to fans of classic Art-Rock (as opposed to Neo).
VM: May 7, 2008
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